ControlUp + AVD = ❤️

Have you heard of Azure Virtual Desktop? We bet you have!

It’s a service, first released in March 2019, from Microsoft Azure. Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) brokers connections between users and Windows machines hosted on Azure. It also has one unique feature: a version of Windows 10 that can support multiple users on one machine. Increasing user density with this tool will save you plenty of time and money, especially in cloud platforms.

To help you navigate this vast new VDI sea, ControlUp has created a series of script actions, specifically designed to make your IT life easier. If that sounds good to you, read on!

What does ControlUp offer people interested in moving to Azure Virtual Desktop?

ControlUp can monitor your virtual machines in Azure, giving you detailed performance metrics. This information is useful for ensuring your environment is sized correctly, performant, and provides you the information you need to make strategic decisions in your environment:  

  • Do we need more virtual machines? 
  • Do they need to be bigger?
  • Do they need GPU?

With the information ControlUp provides, you can answer these questions confidently and intelligently.

But ControlUp isn’t just for monitoring. It has loads of features that make it easier to manage your Azure virtual machines. With ControlUp, you can execute native actions like shadowing sessions, logging users off, sending messages, and lots more!

Native ControlUp Actions on Session Hosts


Native ControlUp Actions on User Sessions

And it doesn’t stop there! ControlUp is a platform that can be extended to do just about anything (I don’t know if it can automate your dinner, but that might come in a future release). This extensibility is made possible via Script Actions, a feature in ControlUp that makes it possible for  you to execute batch, Visual Basic, and PowerShell scripts against a process, user, or machine. 

ControlUp is like what would happen if you took the smarts of Tony Stark, paired it with the agility of Spiderman, and added in the strength of Captain America. 

To prove it, we’re releasing a series of Script Actions that you can use to manage the Azure Virtual Desktop service. The AVD script actions were written by the amazing Esther Barthel (she could be a member of the MCU all on her own) and for the first release, we can execute actions against Session Hosts, Host Pools, and Users.

With these script actions, managing AVD with ControlUp is a breeze! Setting Host Pool session limits? Finding image information? Setting Drain mode? All can be done with ControlUp in a snap. 

ControlUp automatically detects machines in a AVD folder in the console and enables the AVD script actions as “recommended,” making the management of your AVD resources a piece of cake.


Recommended ControlUp Actions for WVD Session Hosts


Have we mentioned how easy ControlUp makes it to manage your AVD environment? We did. I mean, I did; it’s true. But it’s so simple, we’re saying it again! Managing something as complex as Azure Virtual Desktop from a simple console? Could it be true? Yes. Yes, it is.

But I digress. This is just the first wave of AVE Script Actions we’re releasing (there will be lots more to come) and we think it’s a great start toward helping you get a grip on AVE and the machines and users that use it.  

And to make it as easy as possible for you, we made sure we followed the Azure guidelines for how to automate your AVD administrative tasks, using the new Az.DesktopVirtualization PowerShell module and a Service Principal account (a.k.a. Azure AD Application registration) account to support a non-interactive logon to the Azure portal.

To start using the ControlUp AVD Script Actions, make sure you’ve set up your Service Principal account in Azure and given it the rights required to manage your AVD environment. Make sure you store your Service Principal information with the “AVD Store Azure Service Principal Credentials” script action before using the other AVD Script Actions, as all others will use the stored credentials to perform their actions for Azure Virtual Desktop.


WVD Store Azure Service Principal Credentials Script Action


So you don’t have to switch back and forth between the Azure portal and the ControlUp console to manage your AVD environment, we made sure this first release of AVD Script Actions provides you with the same Hostpool and Session Host information and administrative tasks. Does ControlUp have your back? You bet we do.


Azure portal AVD Host pools information


AVD Get Hostpool Script Action information


For a full list of the released script actions, check the end of this article. For a full breakdown of how to implement the integrations, check out our comprehensive knowledge base article.

Finally, this is how ControlUp can help you manage your AVD environment. But ControlUp does so much more! ControlUp Automation can help reduce your costs in your cloud environment by doing things like setting sliding timeouts to log off idle or disconnected sessions more aggressively after-hours! Or reduce user resource consumptions ensuring existing users are more productive by reducing CPU and memory usage on idle or disconnected sessions! Or even aggressively shutting down machines with no user sessions after-hours.

Learn more about How ControlUp automation can help: Session Optimization

ControlUp reins in the high-cost and complexity often associated with the cloud. This makes it easier for you to do your job quickly, efficiently, and with less stress. We are excited to have created (and now deliver!) these innovative tools that won’t just make it easier to navigate new technologies like Windows Virtual Desktop, they’ll help you work smarter, stay productive, and remember what made you love IT in the first place.

About the author

Trentent Tye

Trentent Tye, a Tech Person of Interest, is based out of Canada and its many, many feet of snow. FUN FACT: Trentent came to ControlUp because, as a former customer, the product impacted his life in so many positive ways—from reducing stress, time to remediation, increased job satisfaction, and more—he had to be our evangelist. Now an integral part of ControlUp’s Product Marketing Team, he educates our customers, pours his heart and soul into the product, and generally makes ControlUp a better place. Trentent recently moved to be closer to family. He does not recommend moving during a pandemic.